Maine: Houlton rolls out welcome mat for marijuana businesses

With a 5-0 vote at their Feb. 21 meeting, town councilors approved moving forward with an ordinance aimed at welcoming entrepreneurs interested in growing and selling marijuana for recreational use.

“This town has been struggling for years,” Councilor Sue Waite-York said. “We’re not in a position to let this opportunity slip by.”


Maine lawmakers to hear feedback on marijuana legalization Tuesday

Lawmakers are looking for public feedback on how to proceed with the many complicated aspects of marijuana legalization.

On Tuesday, a special committee charged with facilitating Maine’s transition into a legal marijuana marketplace will hold a meeting to hear public comments on the process. The 17-member Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation was created to help guide state agencies that will craft the rules and regulations around the industry, as well as to review the dozens of marijuana-related bills pending in the Legislature.


Will insurers begin covering medical marijuana?

Medical marijuana has a long history of being denied coverage by insurance companies. Up to now most insurance companies refuse to cover cannabinoid treatments, typically citing federal regulations as the main reason to decline medical marijuana coverage. This is especially true in the United States where cannabis is a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act with “no perceived medicinal value”.

In New Mexico, an employee hurt on the job was denied medical marijuana coverage under his worker’s compensation insurance and his suit to force the coverage failed. Beside the ruling in New Mexico, lower courts in Michigan, Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut have given similar verdicts to workplace insurers.


How Marijuana Is Transforming the Event Industry

From “bud bars” to cannabis-infused dinners, find out how marijuana is being used in states that have legalized it.

Four states legalized recreational use of marijuana in November—California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada—bringing the total number to eight plus Washington, D.C. As these laws go into effect, and attitudes toward the drug begin to soften, expect to see everything from cannabis-infused food and beverages to rolled marijuana cigarettes at events such as festivals, weddings, and more.


Smoke 'Em If Ya Got 'Em: Weed Is Officially Legal in Maine

It's a green Monday in Maine.

The first tangible results of state voters' decision to legalize marijuana are being felt as possession and home growth of marijuana becomes legal. Voters narrowly passed the ballot question in November, and the waiting period between the vote and legalization has expired.

Contentious aspects linger, including what rules should govern businesses that will sell marijuana, such as retail stores and social clubs. The Legislature has been hammering out those details, and they will take months to fully craft, meaning it will be months before marijuana businesses open in the state.

But it's legal to smoke it as of Monday. It's also legal to gift it, grow it and possess up to 2.5 ounces of it.


Maine: Gov. LePage signs marijuana moratorium bill into law

Governor LePage signed the marijuana moratorium bill into law on Friday afternoon, one day after the bill passed the legislature and three days before recreational pot becomes legal in Maine.

The moratorium law allows personal use of the drug starting Monday, but buys the Governor and Legislature a year to fine tune marijuana policy, before retail sales will be allowed to begin all over the state.

It was not certain if the governor would approve the legislation, since two provisions he wanted were shot down in a House vote Thursday.


Maine Poised to Push Back Retail Cannabis Until 2018

State lawmakers on Thursday unanimously approved legislation delaying the retail sale of cannabis until at least February 2018.

A referendum approved by voters in November gave state regulators nine months to adopt rules for marijuana legalization. The legislation will extend that deadline.

The legislation also makes clear that individuals younger than 21 years old can’t possess or use cananbis. Growing and possessing recreational marijuana, however, is still legal starting Monday.

The bill is headed for the desk of Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who’s called on lawmakers for money for the rule-making process.


Maine: Medical Marijuana CEO Tells Augusta Crowd She Is Bullish About New Recreational Pot Law

Patricia Rosi told members of the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday she sees enough room in the state for medical and recreational marijuana uses.

The head of Maine’s largest purveyor of legal, medical marijuana said on Wednesday that she also supports the regulated, recreational use of marijuana by people over 21 and the creation of a market to satisfy their demand.

In November, that’s just what Maine voters approved when they narrowly voted yes on Question 1, a citizen referendum that allows for the creation of a recreational marijuana industry in the state. This week, state lawmakers are beginning to consider how to implement those new rules.


Maine: Marijuana Interest Driving Real Estate Deals

Although political uncertainties are restraining momentum, entrepreneurs interested in pot operations are heating up the greater Portland industrial market.

With recreational marijuana use on the verge of becoming legal in Maine, real estate brokers are seeing a jump in demand for industrial spaces that could become indoor marijuana farms in the not-too-distant future.

Marijuana is scheduled to become legal to use and possess Jan. 30, but the scramble for suitable warehouse space for commercial growing has begun, helping to push lease rates to nearly twice what they were six years ago in Greater Portland.


10 Places That Passed Landmark Marijuana Laws in 2016

2016 is a year that will live in infamy, but one clear winner across the board was cannabis. The United States watched as eight more states legalized cannabis for medical or recreational purposes, and the ripple effect of legalization has been felt throughout the globe. 

Revel in these states' and countries' cannabis victories and look to the future with renewed optimism. What will 2017 bring? We can't wait to find out! 


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